On November 22, 1968 the Beatles released their 9th official album, the eponymous 2-record, 30-song masterpiece known as the White Album. The recording of it took place after the Beatles’ retreat to India where they studied transcendental meditation with the Maharishi. Even though the trip was fraught with drama and each Beatle bailed at different times on what was to be a three-month study, some of their best songs were written there.
The White Album was recorded at Abbey road studios, used new 8-track recording equipment, and was the first release on their own Apple label. The entire project marked a period of turmoil, with Ringo Starr quitting the group for a brief time during the sessions, leaving Paul McCartney to sit in on drum duties for some of the songs. It was also the first time Yoko Ono had made an appearance in the studio, when recording sessions had previously been an insular experience for the Fab Four. To add to that, McCartney’s then-girlfriend, Francie Schwartz, was also present for some of the sessions.
Regardless of the discord, howeer, the White Album was the first to really emphasize the individual styles of the group’s members, and gave us such gems as “Blackbird,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “I Will,” “Back in the U.S.S.R.” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Dear Prudence.” It became the Beatles best-selling albums in the U.S. with over 19 million sold.
Category: In Case You Haven't Heard